Posts tagged with "Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos"

Jeff Bezos opens tuition-free preschool in Washington State

September 25, 2020

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos  announced on September 23 that the first Bezos Academy—envisioned as a leadoff site in what will be a network of free preschools—will open about 18 miles south of Seattle next month, Fox Business reports.

“The Bezos Academy opens its doors on October 19th,” Bezos wrote on Instagram. “This one in Des Moines, Washington, is the first of many free preschools that we’ll be opening for underserved children. Extra kudos to the team for figuring out how to make this happen even amidst COVID, and to Wesley Homes for stepping up with the facility.”

Wesley Homes is a nonprofit retirement community provider associated with the United Methodist Church.

The preschool will be supported by the billionaire’s Bezos Day One Fund, which he established in 2018, according to Fox Business.

“Our Montessori-inspired preschool will offer year-round programming, five days a week, for children [between the ages of three and five]. Admissions will prioritize low-income families,” reads a statement on the Day One Fund’s website.

Research contact: @FoxBusiness

Amazon backs out of deal for New York City corporate campus

February 18, 2019

Following  three months of sustained opposition from state and local officials, Amazon has cancelled its plan to build a new campus across the East River from Manhattan — and, in the process, withdrawn the offer of 25,000 jobs that the move might have brought to New York City, NBC News reported on February 14..

Among those who fought the plan was high-profile Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D- 14th District, New York) whose district abuts the area in Long Island City where the new Amazon headquarters would have been located.

“It wasn’t any one incident,” Jodi Seth, the head of Policy Communications for Amazon, told the network last Thursday in an interview. “It was that the environment over the course of the past three months had not got any better. There were some local and state elected officials who refused to meet with Amazon and criticized us day in and day out about the plan.”

Seth said it came down to a long-term environment that Amazon did not care to work in, in part because different politicians put forward different reasons for opposing the project.

“If you talk to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it’s ‘Never Amazon,'” Seth said. “If you talk to [New York City Councilman Jimmy] Van Bramer, [whose district is in Queens], it’s unions.” (New York is still a heavily unionized town, and Amazon’s opposition to unions was frequently cited by those who fought the project.)

According to NBC News, the main frustration for opponents of Amazon’s project was the $3 billion that the company had been awarded in state and city incentives — a cost that opponents said would have been paid for by New York residents. Many also feared that the move would lead to gentrification and higher housing prices.

And a number of residents of the neighborhood protested that the already overcrowded subway and bus transportation systems could not handle the additional onslaught of commuters.

Conversely, small business owners were unhappy with the decision because they had welcomed the extra business it would bring to the area.

Following Amazon’s announcement, Ocasio-Cortez commended “dedicated, everyday New Yorkers & their neighbors” for defeating “Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the power of the richest man in the world” on her Twitter site.

Champions of the deal, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, said that the creation of those 25,000 new jobs, plus revenue from property taxes, corporate taxes, and personal income taxes, would have benefited Long Island City and New York in the long term.

In a statement Thursday, Cuomo criticized the “small group of politicians” who opposed the headquarters and put their own “narrow interests above their community.”

Even with support from some officials, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his team concluded that it wasn’t worth sticking around for the fight, NBC News reported. Seth noted that a vote on the move by the State Public Authorities Control Board the State Public Authorities Control Board wasn’t scheduled until April or May 2020.

“We wouldn’t have even known if the deal would be approved until a year from now,” she said. “We were pretty confident the deal would be approved, in that the governor was working hard to make it happen, but looking at the opposition and the timeline we decided we don’t want to work in this environment in the long term.”

Amazon offered no plan to find another headquarters in the area, and Seth told the TV network that Amazon has no intention of re-opening talks with New York state and local

Research contact: @DylanByers

55% say Amazon plays fair with USPS

April 10, 2018

President Donald Trump continues to harass Amazon—contending that the online shopping site pays the U.S. Postal Service too little to deliver its packages and is, therefore, ripping off taxpayers. But do the American people agree? That’s what Yahoo asked in a recent survey.

The Web-based news, email and search site released results on April 3 of a flash online survey of nearly 20,000 Yahoo Finance readers—which found that 55% say Trump is wrong and think Amazon plays fair. About 32% say Trump is right and think Amazon doesn’t play fair. Nearly 13% aren’t sure.

Yet Amazon is far more popular than Trump, at least among Yahoo Finance users. Overall, 70% of survey respondents have a positive impression of Amazon, compared with just 26% who have a positive impression of Trump. (In Gallup’s latest weekly survey, Trump’s approval rating is 39%.)

It is very unlikely Amazon has a sweetheart deal with the Postal Service that no other bulk shipper is able to get, Yahoo reports. By law, the Postal Service must break even on every contract for package delivery, at a minimum. It sets the rates Amazon pays; not Amazon. Given the volume Amazon ships, it’s more likely that Amazon is providing a valuable revenue stream to the Postal Service than taking it for a ride.

But Trump isn’t trying to win on facts. According to Yahoo, “He seems to despise Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, which is a frequent Trump critic. So Trump appears to be trying to damage Amazon, the source of Bezos’s immense wealth.”

And Trump has succeeded, at least temporarily, Yahoo says. Amazon shares have fallen by about 8% since Trump’s first Twitter attack on March 29—zapping about $58 billion in market value.

Trump supporters, not surprisingly, are more likely to agree with Trump and frown on Amazon. Of the 26% of survey respondents who said they have a positive impression of Trump, 77% agree with him about Amazon, and only 11% think he’s wrong. Here’s how the Trump supporters answered:

Trump, of course, may believe he’s winning if he manages to turn anybody against Amazon, which, Yahoo said, “he probably has, given that some of his core supporters line up behind just about any stance he takes.”

Research contact: @YahooFinance